20 Minute Full Body HIIT Workout for Weight Loss

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Do you find yourself not having enough time during the day to workout? If you are like most busy adults, then finding time to exercise probably gets pushed down on your priority list. But what if I told you that a 20 Minute Full Body HIIT workout is all you need to get started on your weight loss journey?

One of the best fat burning exercise routines that can save time is to complete a full body HIIT workout.

High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, has become a popular way to exercise that can replace long and boring cardio training.

These types of workouts are much shorter (usually under 30 minutes) than going for a long run, sitting on an exercise bike, or even going to the gym to exercise. Depending on the workout, a HIIT routine normally works the entire body … instead of just focusing on legs, upper body, or even cardio.

Here at John’s 6 Pack, we have come up with a few HIIT style workouts of our own. In this article, you will find a 20 Minute Full Body Workout that will leave you sweating for sure.

Just remember that any type of HIIT or Tabata Workout should be completed at maximum effort. The good news is that it will only take you 20 minutes!

20 Minute Full Body HIIT

20 Minute Full Body HIIT at Home WorkoutI am so loving short workouts! The other day, I put together my first ever full body HIIT workout and it kicked my butt.

Seriously … I can’t hardly walk today because my gluts are in so much pain. In fact, my whole body is hurting. My arms, legs, and even my abs are sore from just 20 minutes of maxed out exercising!

I decided to combine 8 different exercises that don’t require any weights or equipment and can be done in a small amount of space. This type of workout is perfect to do at home, in your backyard, a hotel room, or even on the beach!

These 8 full body exercises include – push ups, lunges, low planks, jumping jacks, burpees, low mountain climbers, high knees, and squats.

Each of the exercises are to be performed following a Tabata format of 25 seconds of exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest.

Note – Since this workout is 20 minutes in length, it is not considered a true Tabata which is only 4-minutes. A true Tabata workout would also be setup for 20 seconds of exercise (not 25 seconds) followed by 10 seconds of rest.

Setting Up Your HIIT Timer

To make your 20 Minute Full Body HIIT workout easy to follow, I suggest you purchase a Tabata Timer (or HIIT Timer). You can also download one of the many free apps that are available to your phone. I have found these work great if you don’t want to spend any money on an actual timer.

Note – If you are using an app, try and find one that you can sync music too. I find this helps stay motivated if you have songs playing while exercising.

Once you get your Tabata or HIIT timer, you will need to setup the following in order to complete the 20 Minute Full Body HIIT workout.

  • Warm Up Interval – 45 Seconds
  • Exercise Interval – 25 Seconds
  • Rest Interval – 10 Seconds
  • Number of Sets – 4
  • Number of Cycles – 8
  • Cool Down Interval – 35 Seconds

I prefer to jog for 30 to 60 seconds before I start working out to make sure I am warmed up. I also feel the need to have a brief cool down period where I jog for about 30 seconds before stopping completely.

Feel free to modify (or even eliminate) your warm up and cool down intervals to fit your needs.

Full Body HIIT Exercises

20 Minute Fat Burning Full Body HIIT at Home WorkoutAs mentioned before, you can start your HIIT workout by jogging for about 45 – 60 seconds to get the body warmed up. If you are doing a true Tabata workout however, most of these routines start right out with maxed-out exercising.

Once you get your warm up in, the Full Body HIIT workout really gets going. Below you will find the exercise format for one full set of the workout … which is to be repeated 4 times.

Let’s take a look at the 20 Minute Full Body HIIT workout we put together. The following is the format for 1 full set (or 4 minutes, 40 seconds) –

  • 25 seconds – push ups
  • 10 seconds – rest
  • 25 seconds – stationary lunges
  • 10 seconds – rest
  • 25 seconds – low planks
  • 10 seconds – rest
  • 25 seconds – jumping jacks
  • 10 seconds – rest
  • 25 seconds – burpees
  • 10 seconds – rest
  • 25 seconds – low mountain climbers
  • 10 seconds – rest
  • 25 seconds – high knees
  • 10 seconds – rest
  • 25 seconds – squats
  • 10 seconds – rest

4-Minute Full Body Tabata – For a Shorter Workout

If you want to do a true Tabata Workout, then follow the exercises listed above for 1 full set (not 4 full sets).

You would also need to drop your exercise interval from 25 seconds to 20. The warm up and cool down intervals would also be dropped giving you an awesome workout in just 4-minutes!

Just make sure to give 100% effort to take advantage of the short workout.

20 Minute Full Body HIIT Workout – Exercises

Since this is the first workout we have ever put together, we wanted to start with a HIIT format that focused on the entire body. That is why we included the following basic exercises – upper body (push ups and low mountain climbers), lower body (squats and lunges), core (burpees and low planks), and cardio (jumping jacks and high knees).

To be honest … several of the exercises cover many different parts of the body – like burpees for example.

After completing this routine the first time, I would say it certainly worked because I couldn’t hardly lift my arms in the shower afterwards from all the push ups and burpees. I even had a hard time walking the day after doing my first 20 Minute Full Body HIIT Workout.

Most of the exercises included in this workout are very common. However, here is a break down of each of the 8 basic exercises to be completed in case you need a refresher.

Push Ups

Despite a push up using a lot of your upper body muscles, it is also considered to be a full body exercise. A proper push up requires a tight core, a perfectly flat body, and strong legs to be effective.

There are plenty of variations to the common push up, but we will keep it simple for now. However, if you get board in your workout … it may be a good idea to add variety to an exercise like a push up.

Here are a few tips on following the proper push up technique –

  • start with hands shoulder width apart or just a little wider
  • body must be perfectly flat with no saggy hips or butt in the air
  • as you go down make sure you end in a perfect plank position
  • as you push up make sure to have a straight body up to the starting position
  • keep your core tight

Here is a quick tutorial on how to do a push-up correctly by POPSUGAR Fitness.

Stationary Lunges

Just like many of these other exercises, there is more than one way to do a lunge. For this full body workout, we are going to start at the beginner level and focus on stationary lunges.

The stationary lunge helps beginners focus on technique while protecting their knees. Since there is no movement in this exercise, it is important to switch up your right and legs on different sets within the HIIT workout. So for set #1 you may work the right leg and then set #2 you work the left and so on.

Here are a few important tips on how to perform the perfect lunge.

  • keep your body straight with shoulders and back relaxed
  • your core should be engaged while your chin remains up so you don’t look down
  • as you step forward with one leg, lower your legs until both knees are bent at 90 degrees
  • keep your weight in the front heel
  • front knee should be over the ankle

The following video from Bowflex on lunges teaches proper technique for beginners.

Low Planks

Not only are planks found in many yoga routines, they are also a great addition to HIIT and Tabata workouts. This simple body weight exercise requires you to hold your body stiff as a board, which helps to develop the core.

When doing a low plank, keep in mind the following tips for proper form.

  • remember to keep your body tight
  • make sure to keep your core flexed during the entire plank hold
  • keep your butt down … just like with push ups
  • don’t let the lower back collapse
  • your head and neck should be an extension of your back (don’t let the head drop)

Here is a helpful video on how to do the perfect low plank by Scott Herman Fitness.

Jumping Jacks

Adding jumping jacks to this HIIT workout gives us a chance to get in some cardio in between the core and upper/lower body exercises. Even though this is a very common exercise, it is still important to strive for proper technique.

Try and remember the following tips when doing jumping jacks.

  • repeat the exercise without any pause
  • slightly bend your knees and push through the balls of your feet as you start to jump
  • raise your hands up and out until they meet above your head

Here is a quick tutorial on how to do a proper jumping jack by Fitness Blender.

Note – Just like many of the other exercises listed in this workout, jumping jacks can have several modifications to increase intensity.


When it comes to a true full body exercise, a burpee can do it all. Besides working the chest, shoulders, and triceps … a proper burpee will also work your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and abdominal’s.

Just like a push up, the burpee can be preformed with many different variations. However, the basic burpee should follow these guidelines.

  • keep your core and butt tight on the active phase of a burpee
  • relax on your way down to prevent fatigue
  • make sure to breathe throughout the exercise
  • keep feet shoulder width apart (weight in your heels) when in the standing position
  • just like a push up, don’t let your hips sag or your butt stick up in the air

Here is another great video from Scott Herman Fitness on how to do a proper burpee.

Low Mountain Climbers

Just like burpees, low mountain climbers are a perfect exercise for the 20 Minute Full Body HIIT workout. That is because they work several parts of the body.

Low mountain climbers not only work the upper body, but also the core and the lower body.

When performing low mountain climbers, remember to focus on your form by remembering the following tips.

  • keep abs tight
  • don’t bend the back … body should be straight
  • breath out as youo bring your leg up

Here is great video on how to do a low mountain climbers by Howcast.

High Knees

As part of the 20 Minute Full Body HIIT workout, high knees are a great exercise that will help with cardio and the lower body. I have also found that if you complete the exercise properly, it can also help to engage your core.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you do the high knees exercise.

  • keep your chest up
  • tighten your core during the exercise
  • bring legs up to a 90 degree angle or higher each time
  • land on the balls of your feet

Here is a helpful video on how to do high knees by Fitness Blender.


Squats are one of the best exercises to work your lower body. Trust me, if you haven’t done a squat in a while, you will be hurting for days after you start back. But all that hurt is a good thing!

While squats may be an awesome exercise for the 20 Minute Full Body HIIT workout, you need to be safe and protect your knees. Here are a few tips to help you keep those knees safe.

  • keep a wide stance with your feet … about shoulder width apart
  • when going down, sit back like you are in a chair
  • knees should stay behind your toes
  • put your hands out forward to help with balance
  • keep the chest up
  • weight should be in your heels as you go down

The following video from Bowflex on squats teaches proper technique for beginners so you don’t hurt your knees.

Staying Fit with 20 Minute HIIT Workouts

I am sold on full body HIIT workouts! In just 20 minutes, the sweat will be pouring off your body after completing this workout. Just keep in mind you have to give 100% effort for the entire workout!

If you are serious about staying fit and weight loss, then this 20 Minute HIIT at Home Workout is a great place to start. However, no HIIT workout routine, yoga pose, or long distance run is sustainable if you have a poor diet. You still need to give your body the proper nutrition and rest it needs.

Proper weight loss and staying fit first starts in the kitchen and the food you put into your body.

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